Embracing and pursuing change
An AEGON case study

Page 1: Introduction

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With the changing expectations of customers, organisations constantly need to adapt to remain competitive. When faced with such pressures for change, managers may look for situations which are familiar to them. This may involve improving the ways in which they operate, but only little by little. This is called incremental change. The danger is that improving little by little might not be enough...
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Page 2: External factors influencing change

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One of the main challenges for decision-makers is to understand the environment in which they are operating. They can then identify key issues which they need to respond to. Understanding these key issues improves decision-taking and reduces uncertainty. Few industries have experienced as many changes in their external environment in recent years as financial services. Thinking ahead and saving...
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Page 3: Reasons for change

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AEGON had historically been successful but government-imposed price controls had reduced profitability. Compared to its competitors, AEGON was not well known by consumers. It had developed good products and services and had a good reputation with distributors, particularly in the area of pensions which were a key strength of Scottish Equitable. However, it was not as well recognised in areas other...
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Page 4: Creating a new culture is a key part of the change process

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Culture refers to the personality and attitude of an organisation. It also includes the shared beliefs, values and behaviour of the employees. These determine the ways in which the organisation and its people make decisions and solve problems. The goal of AEGON's CEO helped to provide a vision for change. Financial objectives were important as the path for future developments depended upon...
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Page 5: Implementing the change

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Before the change consumers were confused about who AEGON was, what it did and how it fitted together. The audit had shown that global scale was important but so was local expertise. In the past, the AEGON brand had not been heavily promoted alongside Scottish Equitable or the other brands that it traded under. The brand strategy helped to reposition the brand within the industry. Now the...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Change is continuous. The process of change is a journey. External factors will always be there to influence business organisations. AEGON responded to these factors by simplifying, clarifying and strengthening its brand in the UK. As organisations change, their patterns of behaviour and business culture develop. For AEGON, this is a cycle in which the business uses its knowledge to learn from its...
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